Lighting Designer Conleth White asked leading Irish technical production and rental company Just Lite to supply lighting for the Irish premier of “Titanic Dance” which was staged at the Millennium Forum Theatre in Derry.
The all-new Irish dance sensation – due to tour in 2016 - has a narrative based around the world’s most famous cruise liner, from its beginning at the famous Harland & Wolff Shipyard in Belfast, to its tragic end at the bottom of the North Atlantic Ocean.
Conleth was given an open book when it came to the lighting design. He’s been using Robe’s Pointes frequently for lighting musicals and likes to integrate the myriad of beam options possible using these fixtures into the choreography, and this proved “A great opportunity to do the same with an Irish dance show”.
For Titanic Dance, he utilised 24 x Pointes, 12 x 600E Spots, 12 x ColorWash 1200E ATs, 4 x ColorWash 575E ATs and four DLS Profiles, a dynamic mix which brought additional energy and resonance to the performance, complete with accompanying visuals on an upstage LED screen.
His main challenge was to blend contemporary music effects with dance and simultaneously create a period feel for the work to reinforce the storyline.
The Pointes were overhead – rigged on the house flying bars both upstage and downstage and used for back and top light and for effects.
Conleth’s favourite Pointe features are the choice of prisms, the variability of the beam, the smooth dimming and the punchy dichroic colours – all essential elements in lighting fast paced dance shows like this.
The ColorWash 1200E ATs were overhead, centre and upstage, also ideal for back and top light and supporting the Pointes in complimentary colours.
The Robin 600E Spots were positioned overhead upstage and downstage and on the floor at the sides, where they were utilised for key specials, gobo looks and texturing and for lighting the musicians.
The DLS Profiles were placed on the floor side stage, and used for side washes and specials and used in place of traditional generic ‘shin-busters’ which are a fundamental effect in the side-lighting of dance shows. Having the DLSs in this ‘role’ opened up a whole load more options. “They integrated easily with all the tungsten generics in the show and the framing shutters enabled me to keep light-spill off the floor and isolate just the dancing feet when needed”.
Conleth first used Robe products in 2006 when he hired some fixtures from Just Lite – the largest stockist of Robe in Ireland – to light musical comedy Keano. “Robe always seems to ‘push the envelope’ whilst remaining affordable,” he comments.
Just Lite’s project Manager, John McGuiness says, “Just Lite now has over 300 Robe fixtures, a figure that rises steadily each year … now including BMFLs! We find them robust, reliable and popular with everyone. We have an outstanding relationship with Robe UK and their team on both a professional and personal level... their support is fantastic and they are contactable any time of day.
Just Lite also supplied 18 square metres of LED screen and an AI media server to run the Titanic Dance video.